Archive for the ‘Project’ Category

*drumroll* The OpenStreetBrowser

Dienstag, März 24th, 2009

I’m very happy, that I finally can publicly announce the project I was working on the last months. I already told you about the OpenStreetMap, this astonishing project with the goal of creating a free map (as in free speech and in free beer) of the world. The great thing about it … you can take the data, use your imagination and think of better ways to visualize the data. And I used my imagination and creativity and created the OpenStreetBrowser.

On the webpage you have a „Slippy Map“, as you know it from the OpenStreetMap Homepage or commercial services like Google Maps. But on the left side you can investigate the current map view. Get a list of Pubs or the Public Transport routes or a list of street names. When appropriate a thematic overlay is displayed. Just play with it, you will see you can’t stop :) If you want to get more information about an object, then just click on it on the map.

Screenshot of OpenStreetBrowser
So. I don’t want to go into more detail here. Just give it a try. If you want more information there’s a page in the OpenStreetMap-Wiki for the project.

Disclaimer: The project is not finished yet, it’s still a big construction site. So, please be patient if it gets slow or if you find bugs (please report them here) or something is still missing.

I want to send special thanks to Manuela for talking and encouraging and for sure for the web design. I’m looking forward for further co-operation. And I also want to thank Monika for mental assistance :)

Welcome to my new Blog!

Sonntag, März 22nd, 2009

Hi everybody! Welcome to my new blog on I finally decided, that I’m not totally happy with and had planned to buy my own domain anyway … So here it is.

To have all the stories of my blog together I copied all of them from my old address But unfortunately I couldn’t copy the comments you wrote me. So you will find these on my old address.

Just to tease you a little bit: You can expect a very exciting post here … at least I’m totally excited about it :) I’m finally gonna present you my project!

Teaser for my OpenStreetMap-Project

Dienstag, Februar 17th, 2009

As I got stuck in Bulgaria, looking for flat-mates, I continued my work on my OpenStreetMap-Project, I was mentioning earlier on my blog (in fact I was not talking about this project since beginning of November).

As I already said, the OpenStreetMap is the Wikipedia of geographical data. The data is collected by volunteers or imported from free data sources (e.g. gouvernmental data if available or free satellite images). In Austria a company – plan.atdonated their data, as mapping is not their main business anymore. This improved the Austrian part of the OpenStreetMap greatly, especially on the countryside (although the import is not finished yet).

My project consists mainly of two parts. The first – and main part – is an interface to browse the available information in the OpenStreetMap. E.g. if you are looking for a pub or the nearest fuel station. But this is not the part I want to talk about this time.

The second part is an improved rendering of the OpenStreetMap. I’m not very satisfied with the default rendering, it looks very pale. I decided to make it more flashy. Additional various overlays can be displayed, e.g. the routes of public transportation (which none of the default renderers of OpenStreetMap do yet).

Attention, technical details: I’m using Mapnik as render engine, the same as the default view of the OpenStreetMap uses. To make developing of the new style easier, I’m using Cascadenik, a kind of CSS for Mapnik.

As I don’t want to announce my project here (it’s still quite buggy and slow), but I want to talk about it, I will show you some example renderings:

In the first example you can see a part of Bulgaria. As you can see the country borders are clearer, and the names of the Cities are displayed in the country language and in the English translation (as available).
In the second example you can see the surroundings of Schottentor in Vienna. Buildings have different colours, depending on their function and a little border.
The last example shows the inner city of Graz with an overlay of the routes of public transportation.

I’m busy developing on my application, I hope to be able to show you more of it soon.